Friends Save Cyclist on Outing

Posted by cocreator on March 19, 2014
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One morning last month, just after pedaling up a long hill through Golden Eagle Estates that leads to a Pleasanton ridge trailhead, Karl Wenzler, 46, collapsed from cardiac arrest in front of his friends, Brian Martinez and Joe Narciso.

The three friends regularly ride their mountain bikes together, and on this day they planned to continue up a steep, unpaved trail. Martinez, an Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy, and Narciso, an executive with Safeway, rushed to assist Wenzler, calling 911 for paramedics and to administer CPR since their friend was unconscious and not breathing.

Assisted over the phone by an emergency medical dispatcher from the Alameda County Regional Emergency Communications Center, Martinez and Narciso worked together to repeatedly pump Wenzler’s chest several hundred times, followed each time by mouth-to-mouth breaths for nearly 30 minutes. The physical effort to keep him alive was exhausting, and the dispatcher offered specific instructions and encouragement.

“I know it’s tiring, but you guys are doing a really good job,” said the dispatcher.

Eventually a hiker, Michelle Stearns, also assisted with CPR until the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department transported Wenzler to ValleyCare Hospital. Thanks to quick thinking and the tireless work of Narciso and Martinez, their cycling companion is expected to make a full recovery.

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Family Friend Saves Child from Choking

Posted by cocreator on February 10, 2014
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A Super Bowl party turned to panic for a Covington family after their 3-year-old daughter choked on a meatball and they now credit the quick-thinking actions of a guest with saving that child’s life.

“It was close to the end of the first quarter and Connor, my 4-year-old son, came downstairs and was like ‘Mom, Sydney’s making weird noises’ and I didn’t think anything of it,” said Bree Fontenot who mentioned the adults frequently checked on the children during the party.

At that point, Fontenot’s friend, Bri Webb, decided to see what was going on.

“I walked up the stairs fully expecting to walk into some kind of pretend crawling around game and that’s not what was happening,” said Webb who found Sydney lying at the top of the stairs.

“She just didn’t look well,” said Webb. “When I got her up into the bathroom I thought she was going to throw up and when I brought her to the bathroom I realized she was not getting air and there was a problem,” said Webb.

Webb called Fontenot to come upstairs and that’s when Fontenot realized there was an emergency.

“It wasn’t until I walked into the bathroom and she was doing the Heimlich on Sydney – had her bent over her arm,” said Fontenot. “I was like freaked out. I just kept telling her ‘Save her.’ ”

During the Heimlich maneuver, Sydney went limp. Her mom tried to scoop pieces of a meatball from the child’s mouth but Sydney stopped breathing. Webb then began CPR.

“When I gave her the first breath I watched her chest rise and fall so I knew she was getting air,” said Webb.

Webb gave Sydney four or five more breaths and said the girl was breathing on her own before medics arrived.

“I’m pretty sure I said ‘Yes!’ I think I might have cheered louder for her than I had cheered in the first quarter of the game. I was so, so relieved and so happy,” said Webb who is now credited with saving Sydney’s life – a week after she renewed her CPR certification.

“That’s definitely what saved her life. Definitely. She got in and saw the chest rise,” said Gabe Debay who is a Shoreline firefighter and taught Webb’s recent CPR class.

“Honestly, it’s hard to hold back tears because I teach lots and lots of people but you never really hear the good stories and the good outcomes,” said Debay.

Sydney’s family now encourages others to get CPR certified and to take your child’s concerns seriously.

“Listen to your children because if we all would have just blown off Connor when he said that Sydney was making weird noises it could have been so much different,” said Fontenot. “He knew something wasn’t right and that’s why he came and told us.”

Sydney spent one night at Seattle Children’s Hospital but she’s doing okay. Her family missed the rest of the Super Bowl game but ordered the DVDs so they can finish watching the game.

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Friends Save Man on Golf Course

Posted by cocreator on February 07, 2014
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An amateur golfer has paid tribute to a group of “hero” friends who jumped to his aid when he suffered a life-threatening heart attack.

Alan Driscoll the Survivor &Tony Real, Bryan Job & John Williams the Saviours

Alan Driscoll the Survivor &Tony Real, Bryan Job & John Williams the Saviours

Alan Driscoll, a keen member of Pontypridd Golf Club, almost died when he went into cardiac arrest on the seventh hole.

But luckily four of the 58-year-old’s golfing companions came to his aid and performed CPR for 25 minutes until paramedics arrived.

It is thought Mr Driscoll, a former chartered surveyor, only had a 10% chance of making a full recovery after doctors later found a large blood clot in a pulmonary artery.

“The simple truth is they saved my life – they are my heroes,” said Mr Driscoll.

“I may have suffered broken ribs as a result of the CPR, but it’s not a bad trade-off for my life.

“These men have been friends of mine for the past 40-odd years and I won’t be able to thank them enough.

“I have learnt never to take friendship – or the social side of golf – for granted.”

Mr Driscoll was taking part in a pairs competition when he collapsed.

His teammate, ex-policeman John Williams, along with golfers Tony Williams and Tony Real, called an ambulance and immediately began working on their unconscious friend.

The club’s vice-chairman Brian Job, an ex-marine, then joined them to carry out a fraught 25-minutes of CPR. Once paramedics arrived, they shocked Alan twice with a defibrillator before an Air Ambulance crew took him to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

At the hospital an ice blanket was placed over Mr Driscoll to lower his body temperature and keep his organs functioning.

He was given a coronary angioplasty and a stent to keep his arteries clear, before being discharged from hospital six days after he collapsed. He is now undergoing regular physiotherapy until his broken ribs mend and is expected to make a 100% recovery after the January 4 attack.

“I’ve been to the golf club a couple of times since,” he said. “The first time was pretty emotional as people were telling me what a fright I’d given them. But, of course, I don’t remember any of it. We’ve all shared a drop of whisky together and hopefully at some stage I’ll be back playing golf.

“But I’m going to wait until the weather improves!”

Pontypridd Golf Club, which was established in 1905, hopes to raise money to buy a defibrillator to store in the clubhouse.

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Friend Saves Man at Home

Posted by cocreator on December 21, 2013
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An Anchorage man is offering his gratitude to the people who saved his life.

The odds are high that Kevin Thompson wouldn’t be alive today if he hadn’t had a heart attack in front of his good friend Paul Spychalski. The fact that Spychalski called 911 and spoke to a dispatcher who knew exactly what to do was also critical.

On Nov. 11, the two men were working on a car in Thompson’s garage when he collapsed — falling to the floor and sliding under the car. Spychalski pulled him out and noticed his friend wasn’t breathing. He immediately dialed 911.

Dispatcher Lori Zaumseil answered the phone.

She asked two questions before determining Thompson was having a heart attack. She then told Spychalski to begin CPR, a skill he’d learned a decade ago.

For the next eight minutes the dispatcher helped Spychalski keep his friend alive. At one point Spychalski thought Thompson was breathing on his own, so Zaumseil asked him to put the phone up to his friend’s mouth. She could tell from the sounds he made that Thompson was not out of the woods, and instructed Spychalski to continue CPR until the paramedics arrived.

Spychalski kept at it until the ambulance came and paramedics took over. A week later, Thompson was out of the hospital with a new pacemaker and a defibrillator, feeling grateful, he said.

Soon, Thompson will have a chance to meet the people who saved his life and tell them thank you.

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Doctor, Dentist & Friends Save Squash Player at Club

Posted by cocreator on December 06, 2013
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A Liverpool squash player who suffered a heart attack on court thanked his pals for saving his life after they used a defibrillator machine to revive him.

View First Aid Corps World Map of Lives Saved with AEDs in a larger map

Geoff Wood, who collapsed during a singles match on court two at Aigburth Road’s Liverpool Cricket Club, said he “owes his life” to those that resuscitated him and to the machine which gave his heart a crucial rhythm again.

The 66-year-old, who is originally from Aigburth and now lives in Formby, had just took a shot in a match for Formby Squash Club against Liverpool South Squash Club’s Ozzie Omar when he blanked out, fell to the ground and cut his head on the court.

Geoff Wood (center) the Survivor with Sean O'Hara & David Graham the Saviours

Geoff Wood (center) the Survivor with Sean O’Hara & David Graham the Saviours

Speke dentist Sean O’Hara, who had been marking the North West Counties League western section match from the court balcony, ran for the premises defibrillator machine while squash player Steve Copplehouse began to carry out CPR.

As paramedics raced to the club, member and senior Merseyside doctor Professor David Graham was on hand to ensure that CPR was being carried out properly.

Geoff said: “I wouldn’t be here if it was not for the defibrillator machine being on the premises and if everyone that saved me were not trained properly. I owe them all my life.

“Sean and Steve ensured that I got oxygen to my brain and Sean used the defibrilator. I wouldn’t be here if it was not for them and David. I couldn’t have asked for a better response. They were all brilliant.

“All I remember is playing and then waking up in the Royal hospital’s coronary care unit three hours later. I was in hospital for 13 days and the staff there were brilliant too.

“It’s important that clubs have the machines because they save people’s lives and my club in Formby will be getting one in a couple of months. I’m ok now and I had a pacemaker fitted in November at Broadgreen hospital to help fire a current across my heart if it happened again.”

Sean said the equipment was easy to use.

He added: “I checked that Geoff had a pulse and he was breathing. The machine is great because it tells you what to do. The two patches were placed on him and the machine revived Geoff by firing a current across the heart. It put his heart back into rhythm.”

Professor Graham and Liverpool GP John Hussey wanted to get the defibrillator onto their club’s premises after a member has an arrest at the venue.

And now the club is hoping to get another defibrillator machine installed near the venue’s cricket pitch.

Professor Graham said: “We saw the benefit in having a defibrillator and it saved Geoff. It’s fantastic that Geoff is ok now.

“We want another machine and to get more people trained up in how to use it because it’s life-saving equipment. Every squash club should have them. Modern defibrillators are so easy to use.”

A campaign to get the defibrillators into public places gathered pace after the tragic death of Childwall youngster Oliver King, who died when his heart stopped as he swam in the pool at King David high school in March, 2011.

The OK Foundation, supported by the ECHO’s Heartbeat campaign, was set up in memory of the 12-year-old and it believes that a defibrillator would have saved the life of the sports-mad youngster.

Oliver’s father Mark King said: “The club was aware of the campaign and got themselves a defibrillator. We were booked in to go down and train them how to use it and maybe supply them with another one when the gentleman took ill.

“They managed to use it and saved his life, but they rang us up afterwards and said ‘We definitely need that other one now, we’ve just had to use the first one!’

“The fact that a life has been saved by awareness of the need for defibrillators in public places and sports centres is fabulous news, but it also should remind us all that any one of us could one day need a defibrillator nearby to save our own or someone else’s life.”

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